With the winter months heading our way, we have a lot of yard work to do. An essential tool for most homeowners is a ladder. We might use it more this time of year for anything from cleaning out our gutters to putting up lights, so its a good time to review some important safety tips that can help us all stay a little safer whilst using our ladders.

It surprises many to learn that approximately 164,000 injuries are caused each year in the United States alone due to incorrect use of a ladder, or not using one safely. Unfortunately, a lot of these accidents have been fatal.

Lets look at some safety tips:

  • Something that can be easily overlooked, especially if we are in a hurry, is to make sure the ladder is in a secure position. You may feel you don’t need to worry about it wobbling or being uneven if you are not going up high, but no matter how high you go up, it could be very dangerous if not secured properly.
  • The majority of fatal injuries caused by falling off a ladder happened from 10 feet or less. Be careful not to become too relaxed or over confident as you get nearer the bottom of the ladder.
  • The constant action of ascending and depending a ladder, in order to move it along a tiny amount can be very annoying. Overreaching on a ladder, even a little bit, could cost you your life, so take the time to do it, its always worth it in the end.
  • Avoid placing your ladders in unlocked doorways. In this situation, you are not just risking yourself, but also putting anyone opening the door in harms way.
  • It is very easy to loose your balance if you skip rungs when ascending or descending the ladder. Avoid this, even if you are in a hurry.
  • If you use a ladder that wasn’t personally secured by you, make sure to check it over yourself before using it. Another person may not have the safe level of safety standards that you do.
  • Another bad idea can be to start using your ladder for a purpose other that what it is designed for such as for some kind of shelving, or as a ramp.

Please remember, safety comes first while using your ladder this season.